Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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CJTPB 09-11-2008 10:33 AM

Thinking of Planting my tank
Hi all,

I apologize if this is too much info or a repeat question. I have a hard time finding much recomendations for a planted tank the size of mine with a large fish community.

Here is what I have.

125 Gallon Freshwater community tank set up for about 3 months
Small gravel substrate with driftwood and plastice plants

Filters -
2 Marineland 360 canisters and a HOB Magnum for polishing duty.

Current fish (I know I'm pretty full plan to move a couple schools to my 29 gallon once it is set up)

5 rummy nose tetra
5 red eye tetra
5 columbian blue tetra
2 rainbow sharks (they don't fight much with all the hiding spots)
3 baby clown loaches
1 Zebra botia (don't know the real name 2-3 inches long. LFS says they get about 4-5 inches)
1 lepard botia (don't know the real name 2-3 inches long. LFS says they get to about 4-5 inches)
1 gold dojo loach
2 swordtails
1 molly
2 bala sharks (about 4 inches now)
4 cory cats (juli cory's I believe)
4 zebra danios
5 white cloud tetra
2 platys
8 tiger barbs

Current lights - 2 36 inch single tube lights and 1 30 inch tube light.

So that is what I have now. Now I want to start planting the tank.


1. Are any of my fish a big concern with a planted tank?

2. What your opinion on the follow light options for lights? Cost is pretty much the same
get 2 96 watt CF retrofit kits from AH supply and put them in the existing fixtures - Total of 194 watts of CF lighting
Put plant bulbs in current 36 inch fixures (30 watts each) and add a pair of dual T5 36 inch stips 78 watts each. - Total of 216 watts (if this is a good option should I go with all 6700 lights? The Nova freshwater has 1 6700k and one 10,000,k bulb.

3. I have city water and a water softner. Should I be using straight city water or water after it has gone thru the softner? The city water is pretty hard. Right now the tank is about 1/2 and 1/2. Every other water change I shut off the softner for the change. The water tests out in the medium hardness in all my tests. Sorry I'm at work I don't know the specifics

Comments -
I'm not going for prize winning planted tank or anything. Just want a good healthy active community tank with living plants. I want to get rid of all the plastic plants.

Any other info or comments that may be useful would be greatly appreciated. I have read allot of good information but there isn't allot of detailed information about a planted tank the size of mine so I wanted some opinions. I think I have the general concepts - Plant food, CO2... all that is understood. Trying to stay away from CO2 if possible. I know CO2 is better but hoping to get by without it.

willow 09-11-2008 03:09 PM

hello and warm welcome.
i'm not a plantie person at all really,however
i have Tall vallis growing very well in my tank,i find
them very could tie some java ferns to the wood,
that always looks nice.
cabomba,crypts,hornwort,these grow well.
and you can use root tabs to feed the plants.

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